Military Review

The bullet is still a fool, but the poison is still a good fellow

The bullet is still a fool, but the poison is still a good fellowAnd in fact, if Vladimir Mayakovsky in one of his poems demanded to equate a feather to the bayonet, then the poison would fit into his maxim all the more. It is clear that in this case the poet meant the pen, as it was then said, “a worker of creative labor”. Although the bandits have completely different “feathers”. As for poison, it is not only serpentine, spider or vegetable. Some fish contain such poison that it is very difficult to save those who eat off this gift of nature. Nevertheless, professional poisoners are no longer hoping for nature. In secret laboratories can offer toxic substances to any "taste."


Long before the French guillotine invention and the electric chair as an instrument of execution by the Americans, the ancient Greeks forced the sentenced to death of criminals to drink a bowl of infusion of heats (Latin. Cicuta virosa L.) or another plant, called hemlock spotted (lat.Conium maculatum).

Actually the poisonous onset in the first plant is cicutoxin, which causes death through central nervous system disorder, and in the second, the substance konyin, which paralyzes the motor nerves. A person poisoned by these plants dies in terrible agony.

Interestingly, the cycuta and hemlock spotted were considered in "Ancient Greece" state poisons. The use of other types of deadly poison is prohibited. Even respectable citizens who decided for one reason or another to leave the sublunary world were obliged to use Tziguta. The great ancient Greek philosopher Socrates and the famous Athenian commander and political leader Phocion were poisoned with a hemlock spotted. (For a long time it was believed that at least Socrates was poisoned with cicuta).

But for the Chinese emperors, court alchemists were preparing special deadly drugs based on poisonous snakes and insects. It was believed that those who took death from such drinks would gain overwhelming prosperity.

Many European rulers and oriental rulers kept physicians and healers with them not only for treatment, but also so that on occasion they could prepare poison for the enemies and an antidote for them if the enemies casually get ahead of them.

The medieval Jewish physician and philosopher Rabbi Moshe Ben-Maimon commissioned the Egyptian ruler Al-Malik al-Abdullah to write the scientific work "On Poisons and Antidotes."


In the 20th century, the industrial production of chemical and bacteriological weapons. Initially, Germany was the first to succeed, as it was the first to use combat poisonous gases in World War I. Later poison gas was used by Japanese troops in China and French in Indochina. And this is despite the fact that 17 June 1925 of the year in Geneva 48 states signed the “Protocol on the prohibition of the use of suffocating, poisonous, other similar gases and bacteriological agents in war”.

Not surprisingly, in 1972, international organizations developed a new document - the “Declaration on the Prohibition of the Production and Use of Chemical and Bacteriological Weapons”. The preface to the "Declaration" says: "For the sake of the interests of all mankind, we declare a ban on the development and use of all types of chemical weapons." However, both chemical and biological weapons do not require accumulation in significant quantities. Even its small doses can cause infection of vast territories. This is especially true of gas and biological attacks, which can be instantaneous. For example, the Japanese sect Aum-Shonrike used nerve gas twice - first in the city of Matsumoto (Nagano prefecture) in September 1994 of the year, and in March of the following year in the Tokyo metro.

In this regard, it is quite clear why most countries of the world reserved the right to develop antibacterial vaccines and anti-chemical antidotes. After all, the synthesis of such substances, designed to save human lives, is impossible without a direct study of pathogens of dangerous diseases and toxic substances. Thus, there is a vicious circle, because dangerous bacteria and poisons are always available in various laboratories. And the use of these substances, so to speak, for its intended purpose, is the most difficult thing for the special services to keep.

English historian Christopher Andrew in his book “The Secret. Only for the President ”, published in 1994, tells of attempts of CIA agents to poison the first Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo (now Zaire) Patrice Lumumba. However, local political enemies got to Lumuba earlier and, after arresting him, they just executed him in 1961. With the help of pens shooting poisoned bullets, American intelligence tried to do away with Cuban leader Fidel Castro.


In the Republic of South Africa (South Africa), Dr. Wouter Basson, who had, by the way, the rank of brigadier general, at the beginning of the 80 of the last century headed the super-secret project “Bereg” to develop and use chemical and bacteriological weapons against supporters of the African National Congress (ANC) . As part of the “Shore” project, which operated from 1982 to 1992 a year, tons of drugs, psychotropic substances and muscle relaxants were produced in South Africa - the means that cause muscle relaxation. It’s impossible not to say that muscle relaxants are almost an ideal murder weapon disguised as "sudden cardiac arrest" or "pulmonary paralysis." Under the “Bereg” project in Western Europe and in the USA, many opponents of apartheid were eliminated. On the eve of the fall of the white minority in South Africa, researchers involved in the Bereg project reported on the synthesis of a substance with amazing properties. If you believe this message, the Yuarov citizens created a pill that can turn a white person into a black man. With the help of these pills, the special services of the then South Africa hoped to send their agents (naturally white) into the ranks of anti-government parties and movements created by blacks.

Poisoned undershirts were created in the laboratories of Berega. Fabrics impregnated with venom caused skin thrombosis when in contact with the skin. Such a death on the part seemed completely natural. The poisoned T-shirt was presented as a gift to one of the prominent figures of the ANC. Suspecting nothing, he gave a gift to a friend who soon died. After the ANC came to power in South Africa, Wouter Basson and a number of “researchers” at Berega fell into the dock.

According to the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz, one of the largest experts in the field of toxicology, Professor Ken Alibekov, works in Israel. He was born in Kazakhstan in 1950, graduated from the Faculty of Military Medicine. Dr. Alibekov has been engaged in research in microbiology for more than thirty years. Back in the USSR, he defended his thesis for the degree of candidate and then doctor of science by proposing vaccines with which protection against black smallpox and tularemia is possible if bacilli of these diseases are used as biological weapons.

The book Biological Threat, written by Professor Alibekov, together with journalist Stefan Gendelman, indicates that the CIA department, led by William Patrick, is actively involved in the creation of chemical and biological weapons. Indeed, in an interview with the Ha-Aretz newspaper, Patrick did not conceal that at the base of Fort Detriks (Maryland) he personally participated in the testing of bombs stuffed with deadly bacteria on monkeys and other animals.

In Israel, all information about work in the field of chemical and bacteriological weapons is classified. However, at the beginning of 50, the Soviet agent Marcus Klingberg managed to penetrate the top-secret Center for Chemical and Biological Research (TSHBI) in the city of Ness Ziona, located not far from Tel Aviv. It is significant that this Center was sometimes called the Institute of Military Medicine. Klinberg, a native of Warsaw, inspired by socialist ideas, moved to Belarus as early as 1939, where he studied for three years at the Medical Faculty of the University of Minsk. In the first days of World War II, Klinberg volunteered for the front. After being seriously injured, he began his service in the medical unit. Reached the captain. Apparently, at the end of the war he was recruited by Soviet intelligence and, on her instructions, repatriated to Israel. On the Promised Land, Klinberg’s career was so successful that for 30 years (!) He was Deputy Director of the Central Art Journal. Undoubtedly, the Soviet agent was a talented scientist, for dozens of his books and hundreds of articles received world fame. In 1983, Shabak (the Israeli General Security Service; in fact, counterintelligence) after many years of shadowing exposed Klinberg. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, which was soon replaced by an 20-year-old. In 1998, the Israeli Supreme Court released Klinberg ahead of schedule due to his state of health.

What did Klinberg tell Soviet intelligence? There is no reliable data, but the Soviet spy knew a lot. For example, he could tell about poisons ...


25 September 1997, at the entrance to the representative office of the terrorist Palestinian organization Hamas in Amman, two unknown people were waiting for the political leader of this organization, Khaled Mashal. When he appeared, one of the unknowns approached the Palestinian and pressed a device to the back of his head. Mashal shouted and lost consciousness. Jordanian guards rushed to the scream. They grabbed the unknown, who, when checked, turned out to be agents of the Mossad (Israeli foreign intelligence), operating under the guise of fake Canadian passports. This история could not but cause a crisis in the relations between Israel and Jordan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then, was forced to fulfill the demand of King Hussein, who occupied the Jordanian throne at that time, and release Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was later liquidated by the Israelis. Moreover, at the request of the Jordanians, Mossad sent a group of Israeli doctors to Amman with an antidote. Mashaal's life was saved. Dani Yatom, a member of the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) from the Avoda (Labor) party, who was the head of the Mossad in those not so distant times, recalls: “We considered poison to be a reliable, quiet, inconspicuous ... If if we had to leave a corpse with traces of bullets, it would inevitably cause an investigation and unnecessary questions. ” Against the background of a truly nightmarish history of the use of poisons against politicians and statesmen, leaders of dangerous groups, impostors around the world, there are a lot of rumors and legends about poisoning. For some reason, Russian monarchists could not poison Grigory Rasputin in 1916 year. He had to shoot. Rasputin was nearly declared "a person particularly resistant to poisons." A classic product that has long been used for poisoning can be considered mushrooms. Of course, mushroom dishes can be poisoned and accidentally, out of ignorance. This is on the one hand. But on the other hand, poisons contained in some mushrooms such as muscarine, myocin, and orelanin, not only kill outright. Many fungal toxins act as hallucinations, and quite healthy people who have tried inedible fungi or decoction based on them, behave like dying from a high temperature or acute heart failure.


It is noteworthy that the famous Roman poisoner Locusta prepared her deadly potions with mushrooms. One of her poisons was poisoned and the emperor Claudius. By the way, in ancient Rome, poison was the main weapon that was used in court intrigues. The predecessor Claudius, the emperor Caligula, after death found a casket, full of various poisons to the eyeballs. When, by the order of Claudius, this chest was thrown into the sea, the waves long washed the poisoned fish to the shores.

It is clear that there are not only “mushrooms” at the disposal of the special services. The most destructive, so-called sabotage poison is iron pentacarbonyl, which is considered to be a regular poison, unlike dioxin, which disfigures appearance, but rarely leads to death. Pentacarbonyl poisoning with iron is similar to carbon monoxide poisoning, and when human exposure to dioxin, related to man-made poisons, keratinization of the skin occurs, its sharp pigmentation and the formation of acne. Pentacarbonyl iron can enter the body through the skin. It was assumed that this poison poisoned Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania in February 2005, but the investigation proved that because of a malfunctioning furnace, he and his friend who was in the same room suffocated with carbon monoxide.

Radioactive polonium-210 cannot be used as a “serial” poison of the special services. The safe dose for a person is only seven picograms (one picogram equals one trillion grams). Even a speck of dust that has entered the lungs is fatal to humans. In March, 2002, an international terrorist Amir Al Khattab, died of poisoning in the mountains of Chechnya. Operatives of the Russian special services, apparently, poisoned a number of other leaders of the Chechen militants. In principle, the “classic” poison of the special services of most countries remains ricin, the lethal dose of which is 80 times the dose of potassium cyanide.


However, society as a whole does not have information about combat poisons that are developed in secret laboratories in many countries around the world. To date, none of the poisons are declared to be non-conventional weapons. The public looks at the poison about the same as a hundred years ago.
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